Laurence C. Smith
Professor and Vice-Chair
UCLA Department of Geography
1255 Bunche Hall, Box 951524, 405 Hilgard Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1524
office: 1127A Bunche Hall
Ph.D Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, 1996
M.S. Earth Sciences, Indiana University, 1991
B.S. Earth Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1989
Dr. Laurence C. Smith is Professor and Vice-Chair of Geography and Professor of Earth & Space Sciences at UCLA. His research interest include topics of northern hydrology, climate change, carbon cycles and satellite remote sensing. He has published over sixty peer-reviewed articles including in the journals Science, Nature, and PNAS and won more than $6M in research funding from NSF and NASA. In 2007 his work appeared prominently in the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2006-2007 he was named a Guggenheim Fellow by the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, and is currently serving on steering committees for NASA, the World Economic Forum, and the National Research Council.
His book THE WORLD IN 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future (Plume: New York, 2011; U.K. edition titled THE NEW NORTH, Profile: London, 2011 with translations in 14 languages), a general-audience book synthesizing cross-cutting themes of population demographics, economic globalization, natural resource demand, and climate change with particular emphasis on northern countries won the Walter P. Kistler Book Award in 2011 and was a NATURE Editor's Pick of 2012. In 2012 he was an invited speaker for the World Economic Forum in Davos. His work has received coverage in The Wall Street Journal,The Economist, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, The Financial Times, Discover Magazine, NPR, CBC Radio, BBC and others.
Please click on "Curriculum Vitae" below for information on past and current grant activity
AAAS John Wesley Powell Speaker (2012)
Walter P. Kistler Book Award (2011)
John D. Rockefeller Bellagio Residency (2007)
Guggenheim Fellow (2006-07)
Discover Magazine Top 100 (2006)
AGU Frontier Lecturer (2005)
NASA New Investigator (2000)
AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award (1995)
NASA ESS/GSRP Fellow (1994-1996)
GSA Fahnestock Award (1994)
Most Outstanding Grad Student, Cornell (1993)
Please click on "Curriculum Vitae" below for other awards and information
I have had the privilege of mentoring a very select group of extraordinary graduate students and postdoctoral scientists, namely:
Cynthia Hall-Atkinson (M.A., now working at JPL)
Dr. Karen E. Frey (M.A.,Ph.D., now Assistant Professor at Clark University, Department of Geography)
Dr. Yongwei Sheng (postdoctoral researcher, now Associate Professor at UCLA, Department of Geography)
Dr. Tamlin M. Pavelsky (M.A.,Ph.D., now Assistant Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, Department of Geological Sciences)
Dr. Asa K. Rennermalm (postdoctoral researcher, now Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, Department of Geography)
Vena W. Chu (M.A., now earning PhD)
Scott R. Stephenson (M.A., now earning PhD)
Matthew K. Mersel (M.A., now working at CRREL)
Colin J. Gleason (now earning Ph.D.)
Lincoln H. Pitcher (now earning M.A.)
CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)
"New Trans-Arctic shipping routes navigable by midcentury" by Laurence C. Smith and Scott R. Stephenson, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS Plus), 2013, DOI 10.1073/pnas.1214212110
ALSO FREELY AVAILABLE VIA PNAS OPEN ACCESS AT
STEPHENSON, S.R., SMITH, L.C., BRIGHAM L.W., AGNEW, J.A. (2013). Projected 21st-century changes to Arctic marine access. Climatic Change, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0685-0
RENNERMALM, A.K., SMITH, L.C., CHU V.W., FORSTER R.R., BOX J.E. AND HAGEDORN, B. Proglacial river stage, discharge, and temperature datasets from the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua River northern tributary, Southwest Greenland, 2008–2011, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 4, 1-12, doi:10.5194/essd-4-1-2012, 2012
Free access to above field data on river discharge (Rennermalm et al. 2012) available at
SMITH, L. C., BEILMAN, D.W., KREMENETKSI, K.V., MACDONALD, G.M, SHENG, Y., LAMMERS R.B., SHIKLOMANOV, A.I. AND E.D. LAPSHINA, Influence of permafrost on water storage in West Siberian peatlands revealed from a new database of soil properties, Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 23, 69-79, DOI: 10.1002/ppp.735, 2012.
Access to above field data on West Siberian peat soils, water content, vegetation, and thaw depth available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ppp.735/suppinfo
CHU, V.W., SMITH, L.C. RENNERMALM, A.K., FORSTER, R.R., J.E. BOX, Hydrologic controls on coastal suspended sediment plumes around the Greenland Ice Sheet, The Cryosphere, 6, 1–19, 2012
STEPHENSON, S.R., SMITH, L.C. AND J.A. AGNEW, Divergent long-term trajectories of human access to the Arctic, Nature Climate Change 1,doi:10.1038/nclimate1120,156–160, 2011.
VELICHKO, AA., TIMIREVA, S.N., KREMENETKSI, K.V., MACDONALD, G.M AND L.C. SMITH, West Siberian Plain as a late glacial desert, Quaternary International 237, 45-53, doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2011.01.013, 2011.
SMITH, L.C., Agents of Change in the New North, Eurasian Geography and Economics 52(1), 30–55, DOI: 10.2747/1539-7220.127.116.11., 2011.
SMITH, L.C., 2010. THE WORLD IN 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future. (New York: DUTTON / Penguin Group USA Inc.) 336 pp. (paperback Plume, 2011) U.K. edition THE NEW NORTH: The World in 2050 (London: Profile Books), March, 2011 (paperback Profile Books, 2012). Pending or published translations in German (Verlagsgruppe Random House), Italian (Giulio Einaudi Editore), Spanish (Random House Mondadori), Dutch (Het Spectrum, The Netherlands), Portuguese (Elsevier Editora Ltda., Brazil), Hebrew (Matar, Israel), Simplified Chinese (China Renmin University Press, China), Japanese (NHK Publishing), Traditional Chinese (China Times, Taiwan), Korean (East Asia Publishing), Finnish (Ursa
Astronomical Association, Finland), Russian (AST Publishers), Arabic (Arab Scientific
BURGESS, E.W., FORSTER, R.R., BOX, J.E., MOSELEY-THOMPSON, E., BROMWICH, D.H., BALES, R.C. AND L.C. SMITH, A Spatially calibrated model of annual accumulation rate on the Greenland Ice Sheet (1958-2007), Journal of Geophysical Research 115, F02004, doi:10.1029/2009JF001293, 2010.
CHU, V.W., SMITH, L.C. RENNERMALM, A.K., FORSTER, R.R., BOX, J.E., AND N. REEH, Sediment plume response to surface melting and supraglacial lake drainages on the Greenland ice sheet, J. Glaciology 55(194), 1072-1082, 2009.
SMITH, L.C., AND T.M. PAVELSKY, Remote sensing of volumetric storage changes in lakes, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 34 (Special Issue on Remote Sensing of Rivers), 1353-1358, 2009.
PAVELSKY, T.M., AND L.C. SMITH, Remote sensing of suspended sediment concentration, flow velocity, and lake recharge in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, Canada, Water Resources Research, 45, W11417, doi:10.1029/2008WR007424, 2009.
RENNERMALM, A.K., SMITH, L.C. STROEVE, J.C., AND V.W. CHU, Does sea ice influence Greenland ice sheet surface-melt? Environmental Research Letters 4, 024011, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/4/2/024011, 2009.
LEWIS, S.M., AND L.C. SMITH, Hydrologic drainage from the Greenland Ice Sheet. Hydrological Processes 23, 2004-2011, doi:10.1002/hyp.7343, 2009.
BEILMAN, D.W., MACDONALD, G.M., SMITH, L. C., AND P.J. REIMER, Carbon accumulation in peatlands of West Siberia over the last 2000 years, Global Biogeochemical Cycles 23, GB1012, doi:10.1029/2007GB003112, 2009.
SMITH, L.C., AND T.M. PAVELSKY, Estimation of river discharge, propagation speed, and hydraulic geometry from space: Lena River, Siberia. Water Resources Research 44, W03427 doi:10.1029/2007WR006133, 2008.
SHENG, Y., SHAH C.A., AND L.C. SMITH, Automated image registration for hydrologic change detection in the lake-rich Arctic, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 5(3), 414-418, 2008.
PAVELSKY, T.M., AND L.C. SMITH, Remote sensing of hydrologic recharge in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, Canada. Geophysical Research Letters 35, L08403, doi:10.1029/2008GL033268, 2008.
SHAH C.A., SHENG, Y., AND L.C. SMITH, Automated Image Registration Based on Pseudoinvariant Metrics of Dynamic Land-Surface Features, IEEE Trans. Geoscience and Remote Sensing 46(11), 3908-3916, 2008.
PAVELSKY, T.M., AND L.C. SMITH, RivWidth: A Software tool for the calculation of river widths from remotely sensed imagery. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 5(1), 70-73, doi:10.1109/LGRS.2007.908305, 2008.
SMITH, L.C., PAVELSKY, T.M., MACDONALD, G.M., SHIKLOMANOV, A.I. AND R.B. LAMMERS, Rising minimum flows in northern Eurasian rivers: A growing influence of groundwater in the high-latitude water cycle. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, G04S47, doi:10.1029/2006JG000327, 2007.
WALTER, K. M., SMITH, L.C., AND F. S. CHAPIN III. Methane bubbling from northern lakes: Present and future contributions to the global methane budget, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 365, 1657-1676, doi:10.1098/rsta.2007.2036, 2007.
FREY, K.E., MCCLELLAND, J.W., HOLMES, R.M. AND L.C. SMITH, Impacts of climate warming and permafrost thaw on the riverine transport of nitrogen and phosphorus to the Kara Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, G04S58, doi:10.1029/2006JG000369, 2007.
SHIKLOMANOV, A.I., LAMMERS, R.B., RAWLINS, M., SMITH, L.C., AND T. PAVELSKY, Temporal and spatial variations in maximum river discharge from a new Russian dataset. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, G04S53, doi:10.1029/2006JG000352, 2007.
SMITH, L.C., SHENG, Y., AND G.M. MACDONALD, A first pan-Arctic assessment of the influence of glaciation, permafrost, topography and peatlands on northern lake distribution. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 18, 201-208, doi:10.1002/ppp.581, 2007.
MACDONALD, G.M., KREMENETSKI, K.V., SMITH, L.C., AND H.G. HIDALGO, Recent Eurasian river discharge to the Arctic Ocean in the context of longer-term dendrohydrological records, Journal of Geophysical Research 112, G04S50, doi:10.1029/2006JG000333, 2007.
FREY, K.E., AND L.C. SMITH, How well do we know northern land cover? Comparison of four global vegetation and wetland products with a new ground-truth database for West Siberia. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 21, GB1016, doi:10.1029/2006GB002706, 2007.
FREY, K.E., SIEGEL, D.I., AND L.C. SMITH, Geochemistry of West Siberian streams and their potential response to permafrost degradation, Water Resources Research 43, W03406, doi:1029/2006WR0049022006, 2007.
PAVELSKY, T.M., AND L.C. SMITH, Intercomparison of four global precipitation datasets and their correlation with increased Eurasian river discharge to the Arctic Ocean, Journal of Geophysical Research,111(D21112), doi:10.1029/2006JD007230, 2006.
MACDONALD, G. M., BEILMAN, D.W., KREMENETSKI, K. V., SHENG, Y., SMITH, L. C., AND A.A. VELICHKO, Rapid early development of circumarctic peatlands and atmospheric CH4 and CO2 variations, Science 314, 285-288, 2006.
SMITH, L.C., SHENG, Y., MAGILLIGAN, F.J., SMITH, N.D., GOMEZ, B., MERTES, L.A.K., KRABILL, W.B. AND J.B. GARVIN, Geomorphic impact and rapid subsequent recovery from the 1996 Skeiđarársandur jökulhlaup, Iceland, assessed with multi-year airborne lidar, Geomorphology 75, 65-75, 2006.
SAMPSON, K.M., AND L.C. SMITH, Relative ages of Pleistocene moraines discerned from pebble counts: Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. Physical Geography 27(3), 223-235, 2006.
SMITH, L.C., SHENG, Y., MACDONALD, G.M. AND L. DHINZMAN, Disappearing Arctic lakes, Science, 308, 1429, 2005.)
Supporting Online Material (SOM) for 2005 Science paper
FREY, K.E., AND L.C. SMITH, Amplified carbon release from vast West Siberian peatlands by 2100, Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L09401, doi:10.1029/2004GL022025, 2005.
ALSDORF, D.E., T. DUNNE, L.A.K. MERTES, J.M. MELACK, SMITH, L.C. AND L.L. HESS, Diffusion modeling of recessional flow on central Amazonian floodplains, Geophysical Research Letters, 32(21), Art. No. L21405, 2005
BJERKLIE, D.M., MOLLER, D., SMITH, L.C AND S.L. DINGMAN, Estimating discharge in rivers using remotely sensed hydraulic information, Journal of Hydrology 309(1-4), 191-209, 2005.
SMITH, L. C., MACDONALD, G. M., VELICHKO, A. A., BEILMAN, D.W., BORISOVA, O. K., , FREY, K. E. , KREMENETSKI, K. V., AND Y. SHENG, Siberian peatlands a net carbon sink and global methane source since the early Holocene, Science 303, 353-356, 2004.
Supporting Online Material (SOM) for 2004 Science paper (BASAL PEAT RADIOCARBON DATES)
PAVELSKY, T.M. AND L.C. SMITH, Spatial and temporal patterns in Arctic river ice breakup observed with MODIS and AVHRR time series, Remote Sensing of Environment 99(3),328-338, 2004
SHENG, Y., SMITH, L. C., MACDONALD, KREMENETSKI, K. V., FREY, K. E. G. M., VELICHKO, A. A., LEE, M., BEILMAN, D.W., AND P. DUBININ, A High-resolution GIS-based inventory of the West Siberian peat carbon pool, Global Biogeochemical Cycles 18, GB3004, doi:1029/2003GB002190, 2004.
SMITH, L.C., SHENG, Y., FORSTER, R.R., STEFFEN, K., FREY, K.E., AND D.E. ALSDORF, Melting of small Arctic ice caps observed from ERS scatterometer time series, Geophysical Research Letters 30(20), Article no. 2034, doi:10.1029/2003GL017641, 2003.
FREY, K.E., AND SMITH, L.C., Recent temperature and precipitation increases in West Siberia and their association with the Arctic Oscillation, Polar Research 22(2), 287-300, 2003.
FREY, K.E., SMITH, L.C., AND D.E. ALSDORF, Controls on Eurasian coastal sea ice formation, melt onset and decay from ERS scatterometry: Regional contrasts and effects of river influx, International Journal of Remote Sensing 24(24), 5283-5315, 2003
SMITH, L.C., Emerging applications of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) in geomorphology and hydrology. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 92(3), 385-398, 2002.
MAGILLIGAN, F.J., GOMEZ, B., MERTES, L.A.K., SMITH, L.C., SMITH, N.D., FINNEGAN, D., AND J.B. GARVIN, Geomorphic effectiveness, sandur development and the pattern of landscape response during jökulhlaups: Skeiđarársandur, southeastern Iceland, Geomorphology, 44(1-2), 95-113, 2002.
HALL-ATKINSON, C., AND L.C. SMITH, Delineation of delta ecozones using interferometric SAR phase coherence: Mackenzie River Delta, N.W.T., Canada, Remote Sensing of Environment, 78, 229-238, 2001.
ALSDORF, D.E., SMITH, L.C., AND J.M. MELACK, Amazon water level changes measured with interferometric SIR-C radar, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 39(2), 423-431, 2001.
HALL, D.K., WILLIAMS, R.S., BARTON, J.S., SIGURDSSON, O., SMITH, L.C., AND J.B. GARVIN, Evaluation of remote-sensing techniques to measure decadal-scale changes of Höfsjokull Ice Cap, Iceland, Journal of Glaciology, 46(154), 375-388, 2001.
SMITH, L.C., MACDONALD, G.M., FREY, K.E., VELICHKO, A., KREMENETSKI, K, BORISOVA, O., DUBININ, P., AND R.R. FORSTER, U.S.-Russian venture probes Siberian peatlands' sensitivity to climate, Feature article, Eos, 81(43), 497, 503-504, 2000.
SMITH, L.C., ALSDORF, D.E., MAGILLIGAN, F.J., GOMEZ, B., MERTES, L.A.K., SMITH, N.D., AND J.B. GARVIN, Estimation of erosion, deposition, and net volumetric change caused by the 1996 Skeiđarársandur jökulhlaup, Iceland, from SAR interferometry, Water Resources Research, 36(6), 1583-1594, 2000.
ALSDORF, D.E., MELACK, J.M., DUNNE, T., MERTES, L.A.K., HESS, L.L., AND L.C. SMITH, Interferometric radar measurements of water level change on the Amazon flood plain, Nature, 404, 174-177, 2000.
SMITH, L.C., Time-trends in Russian Arctic river ice formation and breakup: 1917-1994, Physical Geography, 21(1), 46-56, 2000.
GOMEZ, B., SMITH L.C., MAGILLIGAN, F. J., AND L.A.K. MERTES, Glacier outburst floods and outwash plain development: Skeiđarársandur, Iceland, Terra Nova, 12, 126-131, 2000.
ALSDORF, D.E. AND L.C. SMITH, Interferometric SAR observations of ice topography and velocity changes related to the 1996 Gjalp subglacial eruption, Iceland, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 20(15-16), 3031-3050, 1999.
SMITH, L.C., AND D.E. ALSDORF, A control on sediment and organic carbon delivery to the Arctic Ocean revealed with space-borne synthetic aperture radar: Ob’ River, Siberia, Geology, 26(5), 395-398, 1998.
SMITH, L.C., TURCOTTE, D.L., AND B.L. ISACKS, Streamflow characterization and feature detection using a discrete wavelet transform, Hydrological Processes, 12, 233-249, 1998.
SMITH, L.C., Satellite remote sensing of river inundation area, stage, and discharge: A review, Hydrological Processes, 11, 1427-1439, 1997
SMITH, L.C., FORSTER, R.R., ISACKS, B.L., AND D.K. HALL, Seasonal climatic forcings on alpine glaciers revealed with orbital synthetic aperture radar, Journal of Glaciology, 43, 480-488, 1997.
FORSTER, R.R., SMITH, L.C., AND B.L.ISACKS, Effects of weather events on X-SAR returns from icefields: A case study of the Hielo Patogonico Sur, Annals of Glaciology, 24, 367-374, 1997.
SMITH, L.C., ISACKS, B.L., BLOOM, A.L., AND A.B. MURRAY, Estimation of discharge from three braided rivers using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite imagery: Potential application to ungaged basins, Water Resources Research, 32(7), 2021-2034, 1996.
SMITH, L.C., ISACKS, B.L., FORSTER, R.R., BLOOM, A.L., AND I. PREUSS, Estimation of discharge from braided glacial rivers using ERS-1 SAR: First results, Water Resources Research, 31(5), 1325-1329, 1995.
SMITH, L.C., AND G.A. OLYPHANT, Within-storm variations in runoff and sediment export from a rapidly eroding coal-refuse deposit, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 19, 369-375, 1994.
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